San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Jacó Happenings

The four days McKee Jacó spent in Tarcoles offering spay/neuter, general checkups and vaccines to the low-income members of the community, was a perfect example of how the community has changed in the last few years. Those who brought their pets were interested in learning more about animal care, and there were many male dogs and male cats waiting to be neutered (which in anyone’s estimation is a great sign in a community). 

These clinics were organized by combining the Plaza Boulevard Clinic together with a fabulous team of two vets and seven students from Cornell University in New York. Our U.S. guests donated to the community of Tarcoles not only their time, but also the supplies and materials needed during the clinics and meds such as antibiotics, pain pills and a host of other items.

More than 40 animals, all strays and animals belonging to poor families, were spayed and neutered during these four days. Another 40 were attended to for a general checkup, some of them receiving treatment, others receiving necessary vaccines. The teams were working eight hours a day on the patios of a private house, which served as a provisional clinic. Thank you to Dr. Bernabé Berrocal from Veterinaria Plaza Boulevard, to Dr. Paul Maza and Dr. Jaime Venezia from Cornell University in New York, as well as Amari Suskin Sperry, Sarah Wengert, Nadine Cross, Allison Cowan, Kate Bibi, Nicole Gianfrancesco and Andrew Massaro – all vet students of the same university.

A special thanks goes also to Patri Holmer for organizing the patients for these four days, and for providing a place to stay for all our guests free of charge. This beautiful home had enough space to be used as a clinic as well, which made the organization just that much easier. Thanks also to Maria Lizano Rosales for preparing a delicious meal for all volunteers on Wednesday and to her 12-year-old son Nigel Castillo Lizano for helping to take care of the animals before and after the surgery. And to Leo Hogan, Sylvia van Baekel and Doris Schluckebier for helping out wherever they were needed.

Together with the mini spay-days held in both clinics, we were able to spay/neuter 78 animals during the month of July, and of course thank you to all vets and sponsors for their cooperation.

 Another successful educational activity by McKee Jacó and The Art School Mirevea was running from July 1 to July 12 in the Mirevea facilities in Jacó, Pueblo Nuevo. It’s a part of our education program “Sharing the World with the Animals” that was developed in 2009 by Cynthia Lizano, later improved by Angela Maria Lozano. Our primary target is educating the younger members of our community about the needs of all animals, as well as the relationship between animals and people, and how we both interact with and relate to our environment. During these two weeks, the kids were working on a large (1 meter high) sculpture of a parrot, which acts as a symbol all wildlife that has been captured, only to end up living miserably, in captivity, in Costa Rican homes. This sculpture will be donated to the Jacó main school, Escuela Central. The message of this important activity is: even if your bird was born in captivity, and purchased legally at a breeder, this still doesn’t make it a pet. Thank you Zoran and Mimi Aranjelovic for sponsoring the materials for this great activity.

Finally, Ron’s story is sad but with happy ending. He was hit by a car May 5. Even though he’s a stray, and his injuries were quite serious, we wanted to give him a decent chance for a better life, which is what we always do in cases like this. Unfortunately his recuperation has been slow, and we actually had to have one of his front legs amputated, which is a shame, as his back legs were affected by the impact as well.

Today, almost three months later, he can move a bit better, and he is showing progress daily. He will soon be able to walk and even run straight, though he may be a little unsteady and shaky in the beginning. But who wouldn’t be after such a traumatic event? 

The other tragedy about Ron is that due to the accident and the painful treatments, he’s become even more timid and skittish than he was before. He is distrustful of humans but great with other dogs.

McKee Jacó was looking for a secure place for Ron and it looked like it would be a difficult task. Then they received a call from a friend Marina, who with her husband Dwight decided to adopt Ron and give him a chance for a new, better life. McKee Jacó thanks them for being his angels. 

Now they need to deal with his outstanding bills – as for today it’s $344 in Jacó and $300 at UNA in Heredia. TacoBar in Jacó offered to cover the UNA bill, and Angela Felzmann contributed to the other one. They still owe $324. McKee Jacó thanks those who have already helped, and if you would like to help, please let McKee Jacó know.

-Christina Truitt 

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